Kuwait airplane leasing company ALAFCO on Tuesday announced an order for 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s valued at $1.9 billion at current list prices, at the 2012 Farnborough Airshow in southern England.
Boeing also racked up a multi-billion dollar deal with GE Capital Aviation Service by committing to take 75 of the upgraded Max version and 25 of the current model of the top- selling 737.
The signing ceremony was attended by ALAFCO’s chairman and CEO Ahmad Alzabin and Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“This is the first commitment for the 737 MAX from the Middle East which is one of the aviation industry’s highest growth regions,” Conner said. “We are proud of the confidence that ALAFCO has placed in the 737 MAX which will deliver unsurpassed fuel efficiency in the single-aisle market as well as improved environmental performance.”
Boeing’s 737 MAX has accumulated more than 1,000 orders and commitments from 17 customers worldwide since its launch in August last year. It is the new-engine variant of the world’s best-selling airplane and is powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines.
The Seattle, Washintong-based company has made significant changes to the engines, along with aerodynamic improvements to the tail and integrated the new Advanced Technology winglet to the new 737 MAX. The American company claims it will reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 13% and will have the lowest operating costs in the single-aisle segment with an 8% advantage per seat over tomorrow’s competition.
“Today, with rising fuel costs, the 737 MAX will provide operational cost savings to airlines in addition to being more environmentally-friendly due to its latest quiet engine technology,” Alzabin said. “These are the advantages that airlines are looking for in the current competitive and demanding environment.”
ALAFCO ordered six 737-800s in March 2007 with the last airplane delivered to the leasing company in July 2011.
Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific announced earlier on Tuesday it planned to place an order worth up to $4.2 billion at list prices with Airbus for its first customer version of A350-1000 wide body plane, on the second day of the Farnborough Airshow near London.